Friday, January 18, 2013

Baby Food Day

At Dylan's 4 month appointment, I got the go ahead to give him cereal, oatmeal, barley, for January, add veggies at noon in February, and then fruit in the AM and fruit in the PM in March. Enter my money saving hobby needing personality.  I immediately knew my entire weekend would be full of baby food making.  Now I am the Queen of getting a project ready and not finishing it or having it go horribly wrong and then end up spending a bunch of money to fix/replace it.  None the less, off to Jewel we went this weekend armed with google, pinterest and my mile a minute racing mind.

After doing a little bit of research in the produce section of Jewel, I decided I would do a mix of frozen veggies and fresh.  Frozen actually can be better if they're veggies that aren't currently in season.  For fresh, I got carrots, yellow squash and sweet potato.  For frozen, I got green beans, zucchini, broccoli and peas. We'll start with the fresh (minus the carrots)....

I washed and peeled the sweet potatoes and squash.  I've never had squash before and I don't like sweet potatoes unless they are loaded up with brown sugar (#fatty) so I've never worked with either of them.  I cut off the ends of the squash and hallowed out the seed part.  First I dropped the whole thing into the already boiling water (after much research, I read that boiling the water first is really good because you're basically sterilizing the water.  Remember, they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true, right?)  Removing the seeds before took about the same effort as after.  The only difference is you have to wait to handle it after you cook it, and that's not fun because I have no patience.  I'm not even entirely sure if you have to remove the seeds (I've seen sites that say both things) but since seeds are difficult to digest sometimes, I thought I'd cut them out.

The squash cooked for about 10ish minutes.  I just would check it every once and a while and cooked it a little bit longer than I would if I was going to eat it.  It did not need a lot of water to puree up.  I used a single serving blender (Thanks Santa!) to blend it all up.  I also used the water that it boiled in when I added the water.  

The sweet potatoes were difficult to cut.  I didn't realize how hard they were going to be because I've never worked with them before.  Halfway through cutting up the first one I remembered I had a mandolin (Thanks Santa 2011!).  This made Dan incredibly nervous.  I am notorious for cutting/burning myself pretty much every single time I'm in the kitchen.  (I did burn myself during the blending of the peas this time.  Whoops.)  The sweet potatoes cooked for about 15 minutes.  They needed a lot more water (about 2 ladles full...and I blended it in 2 batches).

 Dylan did some work at his work bench (thanks Santa!) while I did the cooking.

 When I blended it all up, I tasted it as well to make sure that it didn't taste like flavored water.

 The sweet potatoes gave me about 18 "ice cubes" and the squash only gave me about 6.  I plan on making some more squash next weekend to even it out.  Also some more sweet potatoes because the greens that I did gave me a lot more.

I let them all freeze and popped them out, tossed them into some zip loc bags, labeled/dated them, then put them into another giant zip loc bag to add them to the breast milk we have stored up in the freezer in the basement.

Now, for the frozen.....

I boiled them in boiling water, just like I did the fresh. Here's what I learned....

*Green beans - didn't need to boil a lot, but needed a couple ladles of water to thin it out.

*Peas - Needed a little more water as well.

*Zucchini - Hardly needed any water! I added one ladle and then needed to add more vegetables to it because it was so thin.

*Broccoli - needed maybe 1 ladle of water.

*Carrots - needed a good amount of water.

Since I only had 2 ice cube trays, I pureed everything and put them into bags and put them in the fridge until I was ready to put them in the trays.  Then I had an amazing idea.  I am really proud of myself for this one.  When they were ready, I snipped a little hole in the corner of the bag to squirt them into the trays.  Pretty smart, huh?!


 So, in the end, the frozen bags gave me 24 cubes.  So I have a total of 144 cubes of food for $9.50. Can't beat that!!!!! Good luck :)

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